Sterling resident James Blake McMahan died Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna from a lengthy illness. He was 76.
Memorial services and a potluck will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, at the Sterling Senior Center. Officiating will be Lonnie White, lay minister with the Soldotna Church of God. Mr. McMahan's ashes will be scattered in Heflin, Ala., at a later date.
Mr. McMahan was born Dec. 11, 1927, in Old Hopewell, Ala. He entered into the U.S. Army and served two years as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and received an honorable discharge on Feb. 26, 1948.
He was self-employed and worked as a general contractor in Alabama and Florida before retiring in 1996. His lifelong dream was to live in Alaska.
Mr. McMahan fulfilled that dream and lived in Sterling for the past eight years. He had spent a year in Alaska panning for gold and was an avid outdoors man.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Oxford, Ala.
"Jim was a gentle, loving father, generous man, honest, trustworthy and a friend to all who knew him," his family said.
Mr. McMahan was preceded in death by his father, James McMahan; mother, Ila (Blake) McMahan; and brother, Billy Blake McMahan.
He is survived by his fiancee, Jean Ellen Mahan of Sterling; daughter and son in-law, Jamie Gwen (McMahan) and Art Snyder of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; daughter, Kimberly (McMahan) Maynard of Cape Coral, Fla.; son, Terry McMahan of Gadsden, Ala.; son and daughter in-law, Mark and Cyndi McMahan of Gaffney, S.C.; son and daughter in-law, Matthew and Lori McMahan of Lilburn, Ga.; sister and brother in-law, Doris Edwina and Gus Tomlinson of Fort Meyers, Fla.; and nine grandchildren, four great-grandsons, five nephews and two nieces.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the family C/O Jean Mahan, P.O. Box 262, Sterling, AK 99672.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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